Facing the unknown: pandemic and higher education in Malaysia
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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide commentary on the challenges and impacts of the pandemic crisis to higher education institutions (HEIs) in Malaysia. It also outlines mitigation plans, innovative strategies adopted and implications and recommendations to HEIs.
Design/methodology/approach: The research study uses a discourse analysis to examine the higher education challenges and impacts of the pandemic in Malaysia.
Findings: The findings reveal that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the higher education sector in Malaysia significantly. Both lecturers and students in HEIs are faced with multiple challenges in teaching and learning. The effect was more severe in East Malaysia due to poor Internet connectivity for online learning. Nevertheless, COVID-19 also provides an opportunity to HEIs to reconstruct the education system and establish updated programmes and assessments. The success of online learning to mitigate the impacts is still unknown.
Research limitations/implications: The review of the literature and news are not comprehensive as the current pandemic crisis is not over.
Originality/value: This paper is presumably representing a frontier review with more empirical research studies to be conducted to investigate the extent of the current crisis affecting teaching and learning in HEIs in Malaysia. Though there were some commentaries on how the pandemic affects education, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first commentary paper in higher education realm in Malaysia.
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